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Communication about risk - dilemmas for general practitioners. The Department of General Practice Working Group, University of Wales College of Medicine

Edwards, Adrian G. and Prior, Lindsay Francis 1997. Communication about risk - dilemmas for general practitioners. The Department of General Practice Working Group, University of Wales College of Medicine. British Journal of General Practice 47 (424) , pp. 739-742.

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Abstract

Measures of risk frequently contribute to our understanding, prevention, or treatment of disease, but it is important that general practitioners (GPs) explain clinical risks effectively to patients to ensure they are not misunderstood, as risk information can assist in decision-making processes and encourage behavioural change. However, the interpretation of risks by patients and doctors varies. It is argued that problems arise because communication about risk is usually framed in terms of the language of chance or probability. In this paper, we describe how probability theory developed, and suggest that attempts to communicate empirical risk processes in probabilistic language are bound to produce dilemmas. We explore how the theory relates to clinical practice and identify key issues that doctors must address in discussing risk with individual patients.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: risk factors; consultations; probability theory
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN: 0960-1643
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/64361

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